Title(s): The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking trilogy
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Published: Candlewick Press
Trigger Warning: Violence, war, death (of loved ones)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Knife of Never Letting Go (book 1)
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
The Ask and the Answer (book 2)
We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
Monsters of Men (book 3)
As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
The Choas Walking trilogy was on my 2020 Accountability list. This series has been sitting on my shelves for quite a few years and I finally wanted to cross them off my list. I knew this was a good series from all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, I just honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it this much since I had grown out of the dystopian genre.
An engaging & investing plot
One of the biggest advantages of this series is that it has a good balance between the plot and the characters. Neither was too heavy. The book starts off with introducing our main protagonist Todd Hewitt who is the only boy in town (a blink away from becoming a man when he turns 13). and Prentisstown is where the adventure begins.
From the very beginning, there’s this lurking feeling that something’s wrong.
Well, what do you expect? The town has no woman. Literally NONE. They have all died in the Spackle war (as told in the first book).
Here comes another interesting aspect. The Spackles. The alien race who were the actual residents of the “New World” which the humans have colonised. Their history and backstory were really intriguing. As the book proceeds, a lot of new info pops up. It never feels like an info dump, rather it pulls the story forward. I really loved the worldbuilding, from Prentisstown to New Haven, everything just keeps getting better and better (or the worse, which is literally true in this case).
The best part of the book is the story is constantly moving. With the characters and there is no dull moment.
Then there’s war. And BOOM (which was brutal, tragic but also epic!!).
So yes, it was not a merciful adventure at all. 🙃
The noise is the showstopper of the book.
All the men have “the Noise”. It’s constant chaos and the writing style prominently depicts that.
The Noise virus affects every man in the “New World”, so basically, there is zero privacy since everybody can hear everybody’s thoughts. Image how horrifying that would be in real life. Just thinking about it gives me the creeps.
Ohmygosh, the characters!
There’s a lot of them. However, I could remember each of them because each of them was distinctly fleshed out.
Some characters you want to kill, brutally. Some you wanna hug them to death.
Okay, so I literally love Todd to death. He is a stubborn kid who believes everything will be okay when he turns 13. But then, he meets Viola.
Todd was told there was no woman left on “New World.” Viola is literally the first girl Todd actually sees. Then his world takes a massive 180-degree turn. I am a huge romance fan. Like, I want a bit of romance in my every read but I really didn’t mind the lack of romance in this series although there’s a teeny tiny bit in the last one. I really, really enjoyed the character development of both Todd and Viola. I rooted for them from the beginning and they grow up so much throughout the whole series.
Then there’s Ben and Cillian, Todd’s gay dads who you immediately fall in love with. However, Mayor Prentis and Mistree Coyle are the two characters to look out for. I just literally wanted to strangle them both, they are super awesome characters. 🙃 You just have to listen to them talking, it makes your blood boil.
I did really hate Prentis Jr at the beginning, but he became a grey character and well my feelings are complicated. Also, a special shoutout goes to Manche, I loved that dog to death.
If you haven’t read this series, please do. It makes you are riding a hurricane.
The writing style
The central factor of the book. There’s a thing about Ness’s writing style which captures you from the very beginning. It was the same when I read A Monster Calls. PLUS, the way the “Noise” was represented, I um, loved it. VERY MUCH.
Also, who’s excited about the movie?
I am excited to see Tom Holland as Todd, although he doesn’t look a bit like 13. Actor age-wise, it’s the same for almost every book to movie adaption but this one, may I can compromise happily 🙂 I heard the movie’s coming this year (hopefully)!
So, I was thinking about adding a K-pop song at the end of each review that matched the vibe of the book. 😀
I mean, you guys can give it a try once, maybe? You don’t know, you may end up falling into this blackhole (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA…)
Okay, so for the Chaos Walking trilogy, I felt it matched a lot with BTS’s ON. Although this song takes a lot of inspiration from various movies, the journey shown in the MV definitely matched Todd and Viola’s one. So here goes:
So guys, have you read this series? Are you excited about the movieee?
Also, didya listen? 😛